OTTAWA — Workforce and economic development were topics addressed Tuesday in Ottawa by Lt. Gov. Jon Husted.
Husted spoke at Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce’s first Lunch with Leaders event at Henry’s Restaurant attended by approximately 50 business leaders. Senator Rob McColley and State Rep. Jim Hoops also attended.
Husted was introduced by Tony Schroeder, Putnam County GOP chair. Husted serves as the director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation and Innovate Ohio.
He said his work as lieutenant governor is largely in the economic development.
“I am focused on making sure Ohio is the most innovative entrepreneurial state in the Midwest,” Husted said.
Workforce development was addressed, and he said he is focused on making sure businesses have the talent they need to compete and citizens have the skills they need to have great career opportunities.
He spoke about Innovate Ohio and said technology is taking over every aspect of the economy. The program creates a culture of innovation in state government by using technology to improve people’s lives, transform services and save money for taxpayers.
“Innovate Ohio is trying to put Ohio at the forefront of every state in the Midwest on how we are using technology to better serve our customers,” Husted said.
He said he has great hopes Ohio will be the go-to state in the Midwest for innovation.
There will be more people in the age group of 64 to 69 than there will be age 24 to 29 in Ohio by 2025, according to Husted.
“That means we will have more people exiting the workforce than we have coming into the workforce,” Husted said. He said it is important that no one gets left behind and that every student when they leave high school is career ready.
An Innovative Workforce Incentive Partnership has been proposed where high schools will be given up to $1,250 extra per year for very student who graduates in an in-demand occupation. There is $9 million to help schools fund career-ready programs.
“We have a goal of making sure 65% of Ohioans workforce has some post-secondary qualified credential and that skills are relevant,” Husted said.
A Tech Cred program also was addressed that helps employers upskill their workforce by paying up to $2,000 for further education for employees. Putnam County employers such as B&S Custom Machine, Global Precision Parts and Schnipke Engraving Company have used the program.
“This is designed to help employers have the skills they need and to give people job security and more earning power,” Husted said.
He said Ohio is competing for jobs with its surrounding states.
“As the nature of our world changes we have to outpace the development of skills and economic landscape of our state,” Husted said.
The administration’s goal is to give everyone their version of the American dream.
Husted also touched on the topic of coronavirus and said older people are more at risk, and everyone should wash hands frequently and refrain from touching their face.
Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday there were three people in Cuyahoga County who tested positive for the disease and a state of emergency was declared. There was a couple from the area who traveled to Egypt who contracted the disease as well as an individuals who attended an American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington, D.C.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.